How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask S. August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question

S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7336
Experience:  We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
1604863
Type Your Dog Question Here...
S. August Abbott, CAS is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My older dog keeps licking the couch, floor, rug. He just ...

Customer Question

My older dog keeps licking the couch, floor, rug. He just threw up a couple of times. I took him outside and he was eating grass like crazy. What should I do to help him?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.

There could be any number of reasons for dogs licking floors/carpet, walls and even bedspreads or cushions. When a dog is stressed or bored, obsessive-compulsive behaviors may develop. Distractions, providing interest and outlets, attention directed elsewhere on a consistent basis may resolve the problem, but it takes dedication and perhaps even a slight lifestyle change on the part of the humans.

In an older dog like yours, Hypoadrenocorticism (Cushing's Disease), liver failure or neurological disease may also be at least part of the cause.

It may be a tooth or gum problem too.

Assessment by a veterinarian is necessary in order to rule out physical cause.

 

Other abnormal ingestive behaviors include Pica (eating non-food items), Coprophagia (ingesting feces on purpose), Polyphagia/aerophagia/psychogenic water drinking beyond necessary or healthy amounts to maintain daily fluid balance.

There may be a cognitive dysfunction (senility/dementia) or simply attention-seeking. When there's cognitive changes they also typically include confusion, not seeming to remember commands/tricks or where they are in the house. They may soil inside the house, on beds/furniture and become disoriented easily. Changes in sleep pattern are also noticed, with pacing and barking.

 

Currently there is only one approved medication (Selegiline) for canine cognitive dysfunction. It must be administered for life and regular renal evaluations are necessary to be sure there's no hepatic side effects (liver disease/failure).

 

When physical causes of compulsive licking is ruled out (and it must be ruled out first), addressing the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) with behavior modifications and consideration of medication may be undertaken.

This could be the result of fear, anxiety, hyperactivity, boredom, stress or any combination.

Find out more here: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/140217.htm&hide=1

Please let me know how this goes with him ok?

 

S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7336
Experience: We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
S. August Abbott, CAS and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. He is an older dog and has had many health problems since we rescued him from an abusive home. He is on pills for arthritis and had over half his teeth pulled this past summer. He is also going blind and his hearing is going now. He goes for bloodwork tomorrow for his arthritis. I will speak to the doctor ASAP. Unfortunatley he matches the discription for cognitive dysfunction to a t. The last few days he has been soiling on the couches. We have also noticed he has started barking in his kennel at night which is totally out of character for him since he was seriously abused when a pup and hasn't barked much since. Thak you for your help.
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 6 years ago.

Though his story is very sad, his life has a happy-ever-after ending. If it's another several years or not - he's been truly blessed to have a home that's safe, loving and gentle.

I've taken in animals from horrific conditions and they've had just moments to live - I try to convince myself that at least for those moments, they knew what love and kindness was.

Your dog has much more than many ever get. You're doing a remarkable job.

Please let me know how it goes ok?

(you do not have to press accept again - you can re open this question any time to follow up)

 

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.